When Does the New Internet Entrepreneur Become a Business?

When Does the New Internet Entrepreneur Become a Business?

Here’s The Thing: You saw this ad on the Internet that promised you a seven figure income this year. The step-by-step training and premium access to the “secret” formula only costs $37. So you whipped out your trusty VISA card, and you were instantly transformed. You are now a new Internet Entrepreneur, which I will refer to as a “Netpreneur”.

The Back Story

So, December 21, 2012 came and went. Is it any wonder that the Mayans got that calendar thing wrong? How many Mayans do you know? That’s right, the Classic Period of the Mayan Civilization was over, and they completely disappeared somewhere about 900 A.D. But they invented this neat Mayan Calendar thing, and predicted the “End of the World”.

In preparation for the Day of Atonement (or whatever you want to call it when civilization as we know it ends), you ran up your credit limit to the max on all your credit cards, you decided not to pay the last four mortgage payments, you are behind three months on alimony, and you just went to one of those “Sign and Drive” sales at the auto dealer. All that credit card debt gets dumped into oblivion because we all know that you can’t take it with you, so if nobody survives December 21, 2012, what do we need banks for? This was the penultimate Debt Forgiveness program.

Scramble to Pay off Christmas Bills – January 2013

Life got really easy by not worrying about how much you spent, what it cost, and the requisite bill-juggling that is nothing less than challenging in a normal month. Add Christmas presents, entertainment costs, and some personal indulgences that you would not consider under usual circumstances, and you now have a cadre of unpaid bills and debt that resembles the pile of phone bills in the Vonage commercial.

Idea: Become an Internet Entrepreneur

You get this idea to “make money on the Internet”, and get caught up in the “squeeze pages” that show you a twenty minute video, and read testimonial after testimonial of normal housewives and pig farmers in Iowa that are now driving $100k cars, living in million dollar homes, and obviously have transformed themselves into the lifestyle they have always dreamed of. These “secrets” must clearly be worth thousands of dollars to you, just to get a peek at the keys to the kingdom.

For today only, this guy with an Australian accent will take you under his wing, and will benevolently coach you to the type of success he has realized for the unbelievably low price of $197. You click past the first page of offers with the “No thanks” link hidden at the bottom of the page, grayed out, in 6 point font, and amazingly, are made the same offer, available only to the next 217 people, for $37. Before you can have a shot at signing up for this program, though, you must register for a free membership. Sign-up involves providing your email address and name, and then entering the 16 digit CAPTCHA code and clicking Submit. After your third try at the CAPTCHA code, your registration is finally accepted. You have also just committed to an Opt-In authorization that gets you on a mailing list for an auto-responder that will pound your inbox with thirty messages a day for similar offers of riches.

You quickly go online, poking through the account statements for each of the six credit cards in your wallet, trying to find one that has enough available credit for you to make this purchase. You know that there will probably be an “up-sell” and you will need some other things to make that Seven-Figure-Lifestyle a reality. After all, “It takes money to make money.” You choose the credit card with the lowest balance, which also happens to have the highest interest rate calculated daily on the unpaid balance. Oh, by the way, the Internet Millionaire calls this “OPM”, which means, “Leveraging Other People’s Money,” to start your new BUSINESS. “No worries,” he tells you, because, “You will make enough money from this venture to completely pay off that credit card balance before the next month’s credit card bill is due”.

It’s bad enough when birds fly over and bombard you as you leave the car wash. Can you imagine the mess if pigs could really fly? Never mind. I digress.

Before you can continue, an email arrives in your inbox addressed to “New Internet Entrepreneur {yourname}” requesting that you click the embedded link to confirm that you are a real person, and the email address you provided at registration was a real human being (namely you). Once you click the link, you are taken to another “squeeze page” that offers you a free report, telling you the life story of the Australian guy in the video. You accept the free report offer, but turn down the next two rapid fire upgrades. Finally, you are brought to the page that confirms the $197 down to $47 but really $37 today-only price you agreed to.

You press the bright yellow BUY NOW button, enter your email address, name, address, phone numbers, dog’s name, and the year your mother got her first kiss into the on-screen registration form. You are then prompted to pay the $197 now using the credit card you selected. You are warned to be sure to enter the one-time, never to be offered again, DISCOUNT CODE in the next payment window, and that the discount will be reflected in the final checkout. You click through the PayPal payment by credit card window to make your payment.

There is no place to enter this DISCOUNT CODE, which is a jumble of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols on the previous page that you could not possibly remember. You are ready to click the Cancel button, but decide that you can always call Customer Service afterwards to straighten this out if the discount is not applied. After all, these are honest business people, and they certainly could be taken at their word to give you the promised discount. Why else would they offer a sixty day, money back guarantee?

When Did This Become a Business?

The moment you click the last “Are You Sure?” button on the payment window, you are now officially a “Business.” Your focus, naturally, is to get the “training” and “coaching” promised so you start earning your $100 per day. In the total elapsed time of one hour and twelve minutes, from the time you clicked into the first squeeze page, until you hit the Confirm Payment button, you cut, conservatively, about three to six months of planning, documenting, market research, lining up funding, business applications, licensing, obtaining tax numbers, setting up accounting, drawing up contracts, engaging suppliers, hiring employees, and sleepless nights that most SMB (Small or Medium Business) owners go through before hanging out their shingle.

An Internet Entrepreneur has the same obligations that any other SMB entity must complete to be “In Business”. Just because the medium is the Internet, that does not preclude you from following the same rules that apply to every other SMB. 

So, when do you intend to get started on these items?   NOW!!!

Now, the TRUTH!

There is no Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or EASY BUTTON!

It takes HARD WORK to start ANY BUSINESS.  Internet businesses don’t have the overhead of brick-and-mortar businesses, BUT THE SAME RULES AND RESTRICTIONS APPLY when it comes to business registration, taxes, etc.

Internet Marketing IS NOT FREE.  Any business requires INVESTMENTPATIENCE, and PERSEVERANCE.  Move past the AMATEURS and HOBBYISTS and GET TO WORK.

Oh, By the way, any legitimate business expenditures MAY be tax deductible.  Start-up expenses and expenditures UP UNTIL YOU HAVE MADE YOUR FIRST SALE are CAPITALIZED and amortized over the first several years.  Consult your tax advisor (YES YOU NEED ONE).  You may be OK as a sole proprietor for now, using your Social Security number, filing a personal tax return and using Schedule C to declare your business deductions, but you should consult your tax advisor on what you need to do to make this all legal so you CAN get the tax benefits for owning a business.  The tax laws were written to FAVOR BUSINESSES and ENCOURAGE COMMERCE.


How can I help?

Well, start by understanding that the MLM you signed up for is NOT YOUR BUSINESS.  It may be a COMPONENT of your business.  It may be the SYSTEM you use to generate ONE STREAM OF INCOME, but YOUR BUSINESS IS YOUR LIST!  If that system does not allow you to CAPTURE THE LEADS ON YOUR LISTYOU NEED TO GO OUTSIDE THAT SYSTEM, possibly FRONT-END that system with a LEAD CAPTURE PAGE that preserves those leads and turns them into SUBSCRIBERS to a list YOU CONTROL.

So, your business needs the TOOLS to create those LEAD CAPTURE PAGES, and an AUTORESPONDER to manage your SUBSCRIBERS, and FOLLOW-UP with those subscribers with relevant messages about the product you are promoting to help them understand and get details that show WIIFM (“What’s In It For Me”) from your subscriber’s perspective. YOU become the AUTHORITY as their sponsor, and your messages and communications (ie broadcasts) build a rapport:  KNOWLIKE, and TRUST.

It takes 7-11 EXPOSURES for someone to be moved from:
LEAD (Curious) to SUBSCRIBER (Interested) to CUSTOMER (Buyer)

Having your leads on your LIST gives YOU control of the messaging, and positions YOU to be the person they go to when they are making a BUYING DECISION.

As your relationship with your subscribers matures, send them something of VALUE to THEM: information, ebooks, articles, training for FREE.  Remember, you are building RAPPORT

Since traffic and tools are MY THING, I also share free or inexpensive traffic opportunities, promo codes, and best deals that provide the most VALUE TO THEM, and that could also become an ADDITIONAL STREAM OF INCOME, both for me, and for THEM.

I have so many things I promote that provide share codes COMPLETE LIST BUILDING FUNNELS, many times for free, or with nominal costs like an autoresponder upgrade or traffic subscription.  These are THINGS YOU NEED ANYWAY that can be also be turned into additional streams of income.

And you thought that just posting affiliate links for that one MLM was gonna MAKE YOU RICH while sitting on the beach sipping Mai Tai’s.  IT JUST DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!

I have been at this a long time. I didn’t make ANY SIGNIFICANT REVENUE while building MY LIST for the first several years.   I now have 3 PRIMARY programs I promote that are my STAR Moneymakers, and have been my PRIMARY INVESTMENTS, but I also have many associated piece parts that contribute additional RESIDUAL revenue.

Think of a hardware store.  You would not survive selling only ONE TYPE OF BOLT.  You would have HUNDREDS of products under your ONE BUSINESS.  You certainly do not have the investment of time and money as a hardware store, but if you realize that if you focus on SEVERAL KEY PROGRAMS and incorporate the ASSOCIATED LITTLE THINGS that PEOPLE NEED (tools, autoresponders, traffic) that can also drive RESIDUAL INCOME, you can BUILD UP YOUR BUSINESS and create LOYALTY with your subscribers.

Rich Moyer
Retired Professional Business Consultant
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